Steve Williamson is one of the most distinctive saxophone voices in contemporary British jazz. Starting out with reggae outfit Misty in Roots, Steve emerged on the London jazz scene in the mid-1980s alongside Courtney Pine, Andy Sheppard and Tommy Smith, and as a founder member of The Jazz Warriors. He quickly made his mark, and was offered a major recording contract with the legendary Verve label. His first album, Waltz for Grace, which featured guest vocalist Abbey Lincoln, was released in 1991. Waltz For Grace revealed an artist of sensitivity, tradition and true originality with jazz fully at the core of his music. Two more albums followed, plus collaborations with, among others, Art Blakey, John Mayer, Archie Shepp, Donald Byrd, Chris McGregor, Maceo Parker, Guru and Jazzmatazz. Funk, hip-hop and reggae are key influences, but it is the powerful presence of tenor giants Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, combined with the explorations of M-Base founder Steve Coleman, that drive Steve’s dynamic and imaginative approach to creating jazz. Steve has influenced a whole generation of artists, from bassist Anthony Tidd and pianist Robert Mitchell of Quite Sane, to celebrated alto saxophonist Soweto Kinch.